Use libraries One Button Studio to record what social justice means to you | Just Living Theme Semester

Just Living, the University of Iowa’s Spring 2016 Theme Semester on social justice, will explore values, beliefs, and positioning by examining our past and looking to our future.  Main and Hardin Libraries are partnering with the Just Living theme semester committee on a video project using the library One Button Studios.   Throughout the spring semester students, faculty, staff and community members can use the One Button Studio to record themselves speaking about what social justice means to them.

Prompts for your video:

  • What does social justice mean to you?
  • How are you Just Living?
  • Why do you need social justice?

At the end of each month, videos created will be combined and displayed on the Just Living website. 

Hardin Library will have a table staffed with someone from the Writing Center and someone from the Speech Center, someone to assist using the studio, and free popcorn on Friday, January 22, from 11am-1pm.

Future  events include:

  • ​Tuesday, February 22nd from 4-6pm at the Main Library
  • Thursday, March 10th from 11am-1pm at the Main Library
  • Wednesday, April 20th from 4-6pm at Hardin Library

Hardin Library’s One Button Studio is open whenever the Hardin Library is open.  You can reserve studio time online.

January 2016 Notes from the John Martin Rare Book Room @ Hardin Library | Charles Estienne (1504-1564)

Charles Estienne (1504-1564). De dissectione partium corporis humani libri tres. : Apud Simonem Colinaeum, 1545.

Charles Estienne

Charles Estienne

Estienne was a member of the famous Estienne family of printers. He received his medical degree from the University of Paris in 1542, but had been at work on this anatomical magnum opus for many years, as some of the plates are dated 1530 and 1531.

This magnificent folio (oversized) volume is one of the finest of all anatomical treatises. Certainly it was the finest printed in France in the 16th Century. The 62 full-page woodcuts, artistically present the anatomical subjects in special poses before unusual background settings. The anatomy itself is pre-Vesalian in conception and far from being as accurate as Vesalius. Some of the plates show diseased as well as normal anatomy.

You may view this book in the John Martin Rare Book Room, Hardin Library for the Health Sciences.  Make a gift to the Hardin Library for the Health Sciences by donating online or setting up a recurring gift with The University of Iowa Foundation.

Some additional images from this work available online from the National Library of Medicine.

Artist: Étienne de La Rivière,  Engraver:  Jean Jollat,"Mercure," fl.

Artist: Étienne de La Rivière, Engraver: Jean Jollat,”Mercure,” fl.


Hardin Library closed Monday, January 18 for MLK Holiday | Longer hours begin Tuesday, January 19

The Hardin Library for the Health Sciences Library will be closed Monday, January 18 for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.  The library will re-open at 7:30 on Tuesday, January 19.  Spring semester hours begin January 19.

Schedule of University of Iowa events for Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Week 2016

Iowa City Community events for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

image of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Winter Solstice and National Flashlight Day!

The winter solstice in the Iowa City area will occur at 10:49 p.m., tonight, December 21st!

Sunset tonight is at 4:38 p.m. and sunrise tomorrow is at 7:30, which means that tonight is 14 hours and 54 minutes long. It is 8 hours and 42 minutes from the winter solstice to sunrise. So, if the short days of winter get you down, just think, after today, the days will be getting longer again!

The winter solstice occurs annually between December 20th and December 23rd. It is the astronomical beginning of winter. The meteorological beginning of winter begins on December 1st and lasts until the end of February. The day of the winter solstice can last 9.5 hours to no sunrise at all, depending on how far north a person is. The solstice happens at the same time all over the world, but the Earth is divided into 24 time zones, so it is observed at 24 different times of the day!

In case you don’t want to go through the longest night without some light, tomorrow, December 22nd, is National Flashlight Day! We can help you build your own flashlight (that works without batteries)  so you can keep that flashlight handy during the remaining winter nights!


David Misell, inventor, Electric Device. US patent 617.592

As with most inventions, the flashlight has a long history. First the battery had to be invented (in 1866 by French inventor George Lecianche). Then, it had to be made small enough to be portable, which happened in 1888 when the German scientist, Dr. Carl Gassner, invented the first dry cell and portable battery. From there it becomes a little muddy. According to Eveready, their company founder, Conrad Hubert, invented the flashlight. Or else Joshua Lionel Cowen, the original owner of the American Eveready Battery Company, came up with the idea – as a decorative lighting fixture for flower pots. We do know that when Joshua Cowen left Eveready, Conrad Hubert took over the company and with the help of fellow inventor David Misell, began to adapt the flashlight.

The first portable flashlights were hand-made from crude paper and fiber tubes, with a bulb and a reflector. They were only capable of a brief flash of light – thus the name flashlight. To promote the flashlight, a number of them were given to New York City policeman. The promotion was successful and soon everyone wanted a flashlight – “the light that does not flicker in a draught, extinguish in the wind, and is controlled instantly by finger pressure…”

Fibre Optic Flashlight Goves from Rilen Sepic

Fibre Optic Flashlight Goves from Rilen Sepic


Flashlights have come a long way since the beginning.  Now you can have a flashlight that fits like a glove, flashlights on your shoes, bendy book lights, key chain flashlights, kinetically powered flashlights, and of course, the smart phone flashlight….


Flashlight Without Batteries. Haywired, by Mike Rigsby. pg. 117

Flashlight Without Batteries. Haywired, by Mike Rigsby. pg. 117

Are you looking for a project to tackle while on break? How about making your own flashlight that works without batteries! Haywired: Pointless (yet awesome) Projects for the Electronically Inclined will walk you through creating your own! Author Mike Rigsby includes a complete parts list and step by step instructions. There are also pictures that illustrate the process. This great homemade flashlight takes 3 minutes to recharge and then will run for more than 24 hours! The parts include items you probably have around your house – items like electrical tape, glue, and permanent marker. You’ll also need (among other things) solder and a soldering gun, high brightness LED, and a rocker switch. Rigsby includes information about where you can purchase those items you don’t have on hand.

Ever since the ancient times, monuments have been built all over the world to commemorate the solstice. Newgrange is a huge Stone Age tomb that was built in the Irish countryside about 1,000 years before Stonehenge. In Peru (circa 800 to 100 B.C.), the desert is crisscrossed with lines of earth and rock that connect ceremonial mounds with the place where the winter solstice sun sets on the horizon. Ancient Egypt’s sprawling temple of Karnak was contructed in alignment with the winter solstice at Luxor more than 4,000 years ago.  Similar alignments can be seen from Angkor Wat to Machu Picchu.

 “What we’re here for is to celebrate the fact that the cycle of the world turns,” senior druid King Arthur Pendragon said at the 2014 Stonehenge solstice celebration. “It’s a time [when] change and hope is renewed.”

Create your own winter solstice celebration and build your own flashlight to get you through the long night!


Rigsby, Mike. 2009. Chicago, Ill : Chicago Review Press. Haywired : pointless (yet awesome) projects for the electronically inclined. 

Let There Be Light: The History of the Flashlight. 2011.

Flashlight History. 2015. Eveready Battery Company, Inc.

48 Funky Flashlight Designs. Feb. 11, 2013. TrendHunter Art & Design. Trend Hunter, Inc.

Misell, David, inventor, 1898 March 3. (EN) Electric Device. United States patent US 617,592. PatentScope

Misell, David, inventor, 1898 March 3. (EN) Electric Device. United States patent US 617,592. Google Patents.

Winter Solstice. 2015. National Day Calendar.

Shortest Day of the Year in the Northern Hemisphere.  2015.

Everything You Need to Know About the Winter Solstice. Dec. 21, 2015. National Geographic Society.

Other Resources:

Winter solstice: Stonehenge crowd gathers for sunrise. Dec. 22, 2015. BBC.

Piñatas of Christmas Past


By Vitalina Nova,  Preservation Projects Librarian

Season’s greetings from the Iowa Women’s Archives!  This is the time of treats and parties. Seen below are photographs of children in the 1960s – partaking of all the joys of holiday parties.

LULAC holiday party santa

These images come from the Iowa Women’s Archives LULAC (League of United Latino American Citizens) Council 10 records. Active since 1959, LULAC Council 10 has made great progress in advocating for the human, civil, and labor rights of the Latino communities in the Quad Cities’ area from the very beginning of its history. In the 1960s, Council 10’s priorities included education and activism that led to fair housing and inclusion, as well as cultural and social programming like its annual holiday party featured here. Notable achievements from the 1960s era included working with other activists to secure fair housing legislation, raising money to support scholarships for further education, and advocating for a full-time director of the Davenport Human Relations Commission. Iowa LULAC members worked with other civil rights organizations to form the Quad City Grape Boycott Committee to support the boycott of California table grapes led by Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta.

Today, LULAC Council 10 continues to advocate for social justice and enjoys a wide range of social activities. For the coming election year, Council 10 has created initiatives to encourage political involvement, such as mock caucuses to educate voters on the unique political involvement privileges that allow Iowans to shape their parties’ agendas. One of just five Iowa chapters of LULAC at its inception, Council 10 is now one of 11 chapters in the state. The Iowa Women’s Archives’ LULAC Council 10 records span the years from 1959 to 2009.

See the finding aid for more information at IWA’s website.

tumblr_mxnszzBBYb1smqom2o1_1280 lulac holiday party pinata with candy

Iowa Digital Library: Mujeres Latinas Digital Collection

Iowa Women’s Archives: Guide to the LULAC Council 10 records

Iowa Women’s Archives: Mujeres Latinas Project


Many thanks to Jen Wolfe for the animated GIFs.